So you’ve decided that you want to make the leap and become a yoga teacher, but how do you choose a yoga teacher training program? There are thousands of teacher training programs available these days and it’s hard to choose what is going to be the right training for you.
And rightfully so. Teacher training programs are generally a decent investment in time and money and it’s important to choose one that is going to leave you feel ready to conquer the yoga teaching world!
Don’t worry, I have a few tips for you to help make the decision a little easier and a little less stressful.
Who do you want to study with?
This is HUGE. You will be spending 200 hours learning from whoever you choose to do a training with so it’s important to make sure that this is a teacher that you know and love, or a teacher that you have done your research about and you feel like has the vibe that resonates with you and what you’re looking to get out of a teacher training.
This was one of my biggest learnings from my 200-hour yoga teacher training program. I was so set on how long I wanted to take to do my training and where I wanted to go that I let the teacher slip to the wayside. Of course, these are all factors that you have to take into account and it can be hard to find the perfect situation.
If you have a teacher that you know you want to study with, the next few points may not be as relevant because you will most likely do that training in the time frame that that teacher offers it and in the location that they choose to host it.
If that’s you, skip ahead. Otherwise, continue reading!
Where do you want to do your training?
One of the first things to take into consideration when you are choosing a yoga teacher training is location. Do you have a specific location in mind? Do you want to do something at home? Or do you want to travel abroad for your training?
For me, I knew I wanted to take a solo trip somewhere far away to do my training. My top choice was India, but after doing research I felt like the trainings that I was finding in Bali suited my needs a bit better. Take your time with your research and be open to different opportunities in different locations! Knowing whether or not you want to do your training in your home city or somewhere else will be really helpful when you begin the research process though.
How long do you want your training to be?
There are so many different options for lengths of trainings these days. Many international teacher trainings are done in 30 days, whereas locally based trainings may be one weekend a month for 4-9 months. I have even seen trainings that are intensive for 1-2 weeks at a time and broken into different modules to complete.
If you have a favorite teacher that you want to practice with, or you already have a location in mind, this may dictate how long your training is, but you can also start your research process knowing that you want to do your training in a certain time frame.
For me, one of the first things that I knew was that I wanted to take a 30-day intensive. I have so many distractions and inputs in my day-to-day life and I wanted to take 30 days off life to just study yoga. There are pros and cons to any length of teacher training, so decide what you think will be best for YOU and your learning style and go from there.
What is your budget?
Price is a huge factor when choosing a teacher training. How much do you want to spend? How much can you afford?
The average 200-hour teacher training will cost between $2,500 and $3,500. Of course, there are price points above and below this, but in general, I would budget spending at least $2,500 on just your training.
There are many programs that cost $4,500 or more, and often these are with well-known or popular teachers. In most cases, I think these teachers are worth the money (Jason Crandell, for example), but if you are planning to fork out $4,500 for a yoga teacher training, please do your research and make sure it’s a teacher that’s worth that money.
With budget, it’s also important to consider the added costs as well. I chose a yoga teacher program that cost about $2,700, but it was in Bali. This meant that I had return flights from Canada to Bali, accommodation for 30 days in Bali and all of my food. All in, I spent about $5,000 on my training program and I felt like it was worth it for me because I got a solid training plus a solo travel experience that I had been seeking.
What are you getting in your program?
Every teacher training will have a slightly different offering. It is important to make sure that your teacher training is registered with Yoga Alliance (YA) so that you can become a registered yoga alliance teacher afterwards.
Doing a teacher training that is registered with YA does not guarantee that the program will be good, but it does ensure that the training will cover a certain amount of hours on anatomy, sequencing, adjustments, yoga philosophy, and business.
It’s important to understand what your training is offering though, as each teacher will have a slightly different focus. Some trainings are more heavily anatomy focused, and others are more focused on the spiritual elements of yoga. Neither of these are wrong, but they will give you a different experience.
It’s important to make sure that you choose a teacher training that resonates with what you love about yoga and what you want to focus on as a teacher. Sometimes this is hard to know when you’re just starting out, but sit down and think about what you love about the classes you go to and the teachers that you practice with and choose a training that reflects that.
Do your research and ask questions!
I mentioned this before, but make sure you do your research before you fork out a couple thousand of dollars to anyone. Even if you have a teacher and a training on your radar, do your research about that training and make sure that it’s right for you.
Check online ratings and reviews and take in as much content from the teacher that’s leading the training as possible to get a feel for their teaching style and if it’ll fit with what you’re looking for.
This can also include doing visa and vaccine research if you’re planning to go international, as well as understanding how much it will cost you to stay in a city if you are doing any type of travel for your training. These things add up, and it’s important to have a clear picture on what you’re getting yourself into.
On top of that, ask questions! If you have any lingering curiosities or questions about the curriculum offered, make sure you get those questions answered before you register.
Not sure what to ask? Here are a few things that I asked before I put a dime down for my training:
- Where is the closest accommodation and how much will that cost?
- What does the day-to-day look like during the training?
- How many people will be in the program?
- How much homework will we have each day?
- What is the physical component of the practice?
- Will I be prepared to be a yoga teacher when I finish?
- What is the biggest focus in the training?
Take your time & follow your gut
With every big decision that we make, it’s important to take time to think it over. I tend to just jump into things and after I found the training that I ended up taking, I asked all the questions I had and then waited 6 weeks before booking. In that time, I was thinking, researching other trainings, and asking questions to my yoga teacher friends to get their opinions. For me, I didn’t want to make a rushed decision and end up paying a non-refundable deposit for a training that I actually didn’t want to do.
I would suggest that you do the same thing. Research, ask questions, and then take time to think about it and make sure that it feels right for you. And above all, trust your gut. Something can look great on paper, but if you aren’t getting a good feeling about it, it might not be for you. Our instincts are usually right with this type of thing, so be patient and wait until you find something that you get a really good feeling about before making the leap.
Still not sure how to choose a training? Send me an email and we can chat 1-on-1 to make sure that you feel confident in your choice!
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